Desi’s Desk: Social Enterprise Employs Autistic Adults to Make Sunshine State Cars Shiny!




“The biggest thing we want to accomplish is change the ways communities we work with think about autism.”


After almost two years of research and planning, a budding social enterprise, Rising Tide Carwash, is cleaning up south Florida one vehicle at a time! With few employment options for autistic adults, and specifically for their son and brother Andrew, John and Tom D’Eri decided to start  Can Do Business Ventures to assist other parents and entrepreneurs in creating purpose built businesses. Rising Tide Carwash is the first of these ventures and business is good!

 Desi and Friends at Rising Tides Carwash


Tom D’Eri says, “We are hoping to change the perspective that people have of autism from it being a disability that requires sympathy to a diversity that should be valued in the workplace… And we want to show entrepreneurs that there is a very loyal customer base out there that is excited and really wants to see these opportunities for people with autism. If you build this business, based on employing autistics, while having a really high quality product – that’s a recipe for success!”


The 35 autistic adults who work at Rising Tide are dependable employees with an attention to detail and my shiny Jeep bears evidence of their superb training as professional car washers! Every employee graduates from Carwash College with positive change in confidence and attitude.


One of the unique incentives for employees is their custom business cards –  if they share their card with someone who later visits Rising Tide and scans the employee code, 5% of the total purchase goes back to that employee! These cards can also be used for a fundraising tool for your organization and give back 20% of the revenue generated through washes using your wash code!  Click here for more information


Touch screen checkouts, top of the line equipment, and a welcoming atmosphere made my visit memorable. “We put a lot of effort in making this a premium product. We hope to capture the people because of the mission and keep them here because of the quality of the product”


Rising Tide Carwash is located in Parkland, FL on 441 just north of Hillsboro Blvd. If you live in the area, consider joining the Founders club for a full year of unlimited car washes for only $225 and for your contribution, your name will be placed on the Founders Wall!


Thank you Rising Tide Carwashers for making me and my ride shiny and happy 🙂

Visit Rising Tide’s website and Facebook page for more info!

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